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Why hire a Professional Photographer

It's said that once you mention the word "wedding," prices quadruple. Wedding photography in particular can seem outrageously priced at times. You'll discover the website of a photographer whose images you love and then you'll see the rate and your heart will sink. Why on earth do you have to spend so much money just for some photographs?

Well, a photographer's job isn't as simple as showing up and taking a bunch of snapshots. An independent photographer is running a business. Businesses have expenses and they take hard work to build and maintain.

A Photographer's Expenses

  • Equipment. High quality camera bodies can cost $5,000. Lenses - which the photographer will need several of to capture different parts of the ceremony and reception - can cost $1,000 each. And at 2,000 to 3,000 frames per wedding, even a good camera will need to be replaced every couple of years. Then there are flashes, light meters, tripods, camera bags and other miscellaneous gear.
  • Taxes. Your photographer is (or should be) paying taxes on every dollar she makes, just like everyone else. So if her fee is $3,000, almost $1,000 of that will go to Uncle Sam.
  • Insurance. Many wedding venues require photographers and other vendors to carry liability insurance. Photographers must also insure their own camera equipment. Each of these types of insurance costs several hundred dollars per year.
  • Advertising. Word of mouth is great, but a photographer needs to keep his name out there. Advertising on The Knot's website, one of the most prominent wedding planning resources around, costs at least $12,400 per year.

Other Factors That Determine A Photographer's Pricing

Hidden Work. A photographer doesn't work for you only on the day of your wedding. Every meeting with potential clients is an investment of his time, whether he gets the job or not. Your photographer will spend time with you before the wedding to go over your plan for the day, your required shot list, and the design of any albums you may wish to purchase.

Once the wedding is shot, your photographer will spend hours editing, retouching, and color-correcting hundreds of images and then creating an album and/or online gallery of your wedding photos.

Intangible Artistry. Photography is a skill and an art. A professional doesn't simply memorize what all the camera buttons do; he or she is able to capture the beauty and emotion of your day in a unique way. Good photos are more than just technically correct, they are special.

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